1937–38: A dozen or so photographers in Santa Barbara began a meeting on weekends and going on photographic excursions. Returning from their outings, they met in members’ homes where the men would gather in a darkroom to process the day’s work, while women in the group set forth an evening meal. After dinner they all joined in a “post mortem” of their pictures. Word spread among other interested amateurs, and the group was officially established January 10 of the following year.
1939: Channel City Camera Club(CCCC) was born with an aim to further the art of photography, to share all photographic knowledge with less experienced members, and to promote a fellowship dedicated to photography among the membership. These aims have remained in effect since the original 18 members founded the Club.
The Club became affiliated with Southern California Council of Camera Clubs (S4C), allowing an avenue for competition on an organized basis throughout Southern California. The Club also joined the Photographic Society of America (PSA) to broaden the scope of membership and interest.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History became home to the Club, and is still our meeting place 27 times a year.
1940: Our Club newsletter, The Angle, was first published, and is still published nine times a year
1942: The CCCC Library was organized, but many members were actively involved in military duty, so Club activities were suspended when the country entered a state of war.
1945: The Club was reorganized and membership soon passed the 40 mark. David Hart, who was to remain with the Club over 50 years, and Alfred E. Stewart made arrangements to present a showing at the Lobero Theater.
1946: As members won awards internationally, the Club moved to the forefront of world black and white photography. Some members introduced projection of color slides, and they eventually convinced the Club to begin monthly competition of color slides, sharing time equally with black and white prints. CCCC won first place in the PSA National Color Club shortly thereafter. Membership grew to 70.
1952: Because a majority of CCCC members were natural history photographers, the Club became part of the International Salon of Nature Photography. This led to an international exhibition held at Fleischman Auditorium at the Museum of Natural History. These images were also projected in Los Angeles in Plummer Park Auditorium under the sponsorship of El Camino Real Color Pictorialists Camera Club.
1998: Computer processing of images became a topic of controversy among members of the club. Some considered themselves purists and felt that digital manipulation had no place in our club; others viewed the computer as a logical extension of the darkroom. In order to provide a wide opportunity for members to compete, four-color slide categories were introduced: Creative (which encouraged experimentation), Nature (where only minimal processing is allowed), People, and Pictorial. Later a Print Category was introduced to allow members to compete in that medium
2003: We initiated competition with digital images on a trial basis; with two projectors one digital and one for our usual slides. After about three months of trial, we started the dual format as a regular part of our competition.
2007: We ended the use of slides in our competitions. Our competitions are now Prints, with a strong regular group, and three of our four categories projected in digital format
The Channel City Camera Club continues to serve the Santa Barbara community and the community of photographers at large, exploring new areas of photography while maintaining our original aims and beginning our seventh decade of tradition.
2020: The Club moved to a digital online format for the duration of the year beginning in March due to a global pandemic. This had several implications for the future and what the club would look like. The possibilities are still being explored and we look forward to ushering in a new era in the realm of photographic expression.